...the ancient phenomenon of weather control - bringing the sun or making it rain - as performed by shamans in various cultures around the world. The shaman ... bring about the desired changes in weather. Similarly, various Indian tribes have rain dance ceremonies. In such cultures, human beings are viewed as but one part of the complex, living whole of Nature, connected to all other living things and to Nature itself.

R.E. Guiley Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience. p.113. Grange Books.

4.  AUSTRALASIA (New Zealand & Australia)

Exerpt from "The PK Man Seen From an African Perspective " by David Wilson - with thanks to Jeffrey Mishlove.

I have been fortunate over the past ten years to have had the opportunity to study the shamanism used in the rain forest of southwestern Nigeria. This is the traditional home of the Yoruba Nation which is one of the largest cultural groups in Western Africa consisting of over twenty million Yoruba speaking people. The shamanism of southwestern Nigeria is called "Ifa" which means "wisdom of nature". Based on my experience in the study and practice of this tradition I believe that there is value in examining the world view of Ifa as one possible paradigm for explaining the data collected by Dr. Mishlove in his study of the paranormal activity associated with Ted Owens.

All Things Have Some Consciousness
The world view of Ifa differs from the world view of mainstream Western metaphysics in two ways; Ifa teaches that everything in nature has some form of consciousness called ori, and it teaches that the world is a multi-dimensional reality. Most forms of shamanism teach the idea that the visible world is influenced by invisible worlds that co-exist in the same dimensional space as the physical world. The invisible realms are usually called "Spirit Worlds". The word "spirit" means "essential nature" or "essence". From a shamanistic point of view Spirits are fundamental Forces in Nature that help shape the physical reality perceived by the senses in a non-altered state of consciousness.
Ifa teaches that all things in the world have some form of consciousness. The first step in developing the shamanistic skills of an Ifa initiate is to learn how to empathize with the consciousness of non human Forces in Nature. [...]
Communication with non human forms of consciousness is generally described by anthropologists as "possession." There are two Yoruba words for this phenomena; "Ini" meaning "I am", and "ogun" meaning "medicine". The student of Ifa who learns to empathize with the consciousness of various Forces of Nature uses their ability as a problem solving tool. From an Ifa perspective learning how to empathize with the consciousness of a cloud is a way of retrieving information related to future weather conditions. It is also the first step in learning how to influence the weather.

Shamanistic Weather Control
[...] In Ifa the invocation of lightning is used as an instrument of warfare. There are very specific and detailed rituals that are designed to produce and direct this natural phenomena. I have personally witnessed enough examples of Ifa initiates invoking changes in the weather that it now seems normal rather than abnormal.
From a parapsychological perspective claims of effecting the weather result in a debate between two possible explanations. One explanation is that the person has a telekinetic influence on conditions that produce the weather and the other is that the person has powers of precognition and is simply predicting events while claiming to exert some form of control.
From an Ifa perspective these two points of view are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Ifa makes extensive use of a variety of divination systems that are used to predict the future. If a predicted future event is deemed favorable, rituals will be performed to insure that the anticipated good fortune becomes manifest. If a predicted future event is deemed unfavorable, rituals will be performed in an effort to alter destiny. To me this ritual process suggests that there is a interactive relationship between precognition and telekinesis that does not appear to have been fully explored by Western scientist who research paranormal phenomena. This polarity would be extremely difficult to analyze in a laboratory setting. In personal terms it is the polarity between optimism that generates good luck and pessimism that generates bad luck. [...]
Based on my own experience I have seen shamans invoke rain and watch the rain manifest. I have seen shamans invoke the spirit of lighting while their invocations were punctuated by bolts of lightning hurling across the sky. I have seen shamans command the wind to blow and demand that it stop. [...]

Alien Intelligence
[...] In the early days of my studies of Ifa I heard stories that I assumed were exaggerated, apocryphal, or simply symbolic. As I gained more direct experience of various phenomena, two things happened; I discovered that more of the stories were true and accurate than I had originally believed, and I discovered that my understanding of phenomena made a radical shift every time I initially encountered the phenomena. Before I experienced possession for the first time I assumed that it was a projection of some hidden aspect of the inner self. Now I believe that there is a merging of personal consciousness with the consciousness of something outside of the self. The shift in explanation is based on continuous evaluation of ongoing experience. [...]
Assuming that this analysis has validity, the implications of this theory leads to a serious problem. If the mind is able to create anthropomorphic images of inanimate conscious objects while those inanimate objects are attempting to communicate with human consciousness, how do you make the distinction between valid messages coming from Nature, and the possibility that the image is simply a figment of the person's imagination. It is very interesting to me to note that my teacher's in Ifa are very concerned about the possibility of confusing these two functions of the human mind. Ifa teaches that true communication with Nature requires that the person receiving the message has access to ase. In other words communication with Nature involves a rekindling of the kundalini experience. When this occurs there are easily observable shifts in the demeanor of the person who enters that state. Imagination does not require ase. Malidoma's teacher knew that he was not communicating with the tree because Malidoma was not in the right state of mind for that type of communication to occur.
Ted Owens states that he used imagination and visualization as a key to gaining access to the paranormal. It would be fair to wonder why if the process began as imagination, it did not simply continue in the same vein and to assume that the entire event is nothing more than personal fantasy. I have found that I can access ase by repeating the invocations that were said at the time of my initiation into Ifa. I also have discovered that I can access ase by remembering the sights, sounds and smells that occurred during my initiation. Both mechanisms have the same triggering effect. [...]
The discussion of a possible explanation for the physical appearance of non human life forms does not necessarily call into question the material reality of these life forms. I think that it would be more accurate to say that there are a variety of shapes and forms that these life forms can take when they make themselves visible to human powers of perception. This may have more to do with human bio-chemistry than it has to do with metaphysics. It is also a possible source of the popularity of the image of shape shifters in Shamanistic literature.
The perplexing aspect of the Owens story is the question of UFO's. In the West mention of the word UFO implies visitors from another planet. Based on the scientific understanding of cosmology and physics the possibility of contact between life on this planet and life from another planet ranges from slim to non-existent. For most scientist the possibility that the number of encounters that have been reported represent real interaction between humans and alien life forms is an absurdity unworthy of serious consideration.
In my own study of Ifa I have identified at least forty different categories of inter-dimensional beings, and each category has a number of sub-categories. The shamanism of west Africa and south Africa makes clear reference to Alien life forms who visit the earth from different dimensions of reality and some who claim to be from specific places in the visible universe. Similar material appears in the shamanistic traditions of Native Americans, most notably the Hopi who dance in honor of their alien visitors. The Hopi are extremely reluctant to speak about their relationship with alien visitors, not out of fear of being called "crazy", their reluctance is based on a concern for the safety of the aliens themselves. Elders among the Zulu teach a form of sign language used to communicate with visitors from other planets. Efforts have been made by the Zulu elders to publish this material for the benefit of everyone. Some of the material has reached the printed page most of it has been rejected by publishers as non credible. It seems to me that the issue of credibility should be left to the reader and that any effort to edit ideas that are uncomfortable to the Western reader takes the entire concept of colonialism to a new level of insidious sophistication.

Psychic Energy
Every form of martial arts that I am aware of teaches techniques for using mental ability to influence the outcome of a fight. The martial art that was developed in Yoruba culture is called "Aki" meaning "bravery". The physical techniques taught are relatively simple and are very similar to wrestling. The mind control aspect of Aki is extremely sophisticated and includes incantations for causing different levels of damage as the situation warrants. I have seen fighters pass out as a result of words that were spoken to them prior to any physical contact. [...]
Based on my experience there is no doubt in my mind that Ted Owens may well have had the ability to do many of the things that he claimed. I base this opinion on the fact that I have witnessed similar abilities used by the Ifa elders of southwest Nigeria. What is remarkable to me is that I have been given instruction in the methodology for accessing what Western science calls PK ability and have found the methodology to be effective. I have also discovered the methodology is most effective when it is applied to solving a real problem as compared with being used simply to prove that it is possible. [...]
Ifa is based on the idea that some people have more life experience than others. Those with more experience are considered elders. It is the task of an elder to guide those with less life experience towards those experiences that will bring wisdom, clarity and understanding of both the self and its relationship to the world. If there are elders who claim to have interaction with visitors from different dimensions of reality and visitors from different places in the universe and if these elders are willing to share the wisdom of their experience I believe that this offer should be taken seriously. In the world of shamanistic belief taking this offer seriously does not mean asking the elders to prove their world view in a laboratory setting. Taking this offer seriously means having the courage to surrender to their process of instruction. You can't learn how to ride a horse by simple reading about it in a book, at some point you have to climb on to the horse's back. Any real understanding of UFOs requires a similar effort.
I believe that Ted Owens suffered needlessly because he invested so much time and energy into trying to convince his peers that his abilities were real. In my experience it is much easier to develop paranormal abilities in an environment of support rather than an environment of hostile skepticism. Hopefully the lessons that we can learn from an examination of Ted Owens life will allow us to move beyond the "is it real" phase of our understanding of consciousness into the much more rewarding phase of applying the optimal levels of consciousness to the task of solving real problems. Shamans invoke spirit beings from invisible realms of reality to effectively improve the quality of life in their communities. Shamans tend to view this interaction as benevolent, desirable and part of the scheme of things. Skeptics either dismiss this all together or become extremely hostile about the notion that we are not alone. Hostility is rooted in fear and overcoming fear is the function of initiation. Every ritual initiation has a segment that challenges the courage of the initiate. Understanding the life of Ted Owens could be just such a challenge.

Biography of Awo Fa'lokun Fatunmbi
In 1989 David Wilson, who has an academic background in law, traveled to southwest Nigeria where he became a member of Egbe Ifa Ogun ti Ode Remo which is a society of Yoruba diviners living in the west African rain forest. At this time he was given the name Awo Fa'lokun Fatunmbi and has continued his study of traditiona Yoruba spirituality on four subsequent trips to Nigeria. This tradtion is called Ifa.
Awo Fa'lokun Fatunmbi has written three books on Ifa, Iwa Pele: Ifa Quest the Search of the sources of Santeria and Lucumi, Awo: Ifa and the Theology of Orisa divination, Iba se Orjisa: Ifa Proverbs, Folktales, Sacred History and Prayer.


Hopi Rain (Snake) Dance

Curtis had been to see the Hopi in Arizona every year since 1900. In 1912 he writes of visiting the Hopi once again, this time to participate in their sacred Snake Dance. Over the years Curtis had collected much research on this customs and rituals of the Hopi and had been initiated into the Snake Order as a priest. He believed he was one of the only white man to ever be allowed to view the rituals. Participation in the Snake Dance was a great honor. The ritual would last for sixteen days in August. Curtis participated as an Indian, all the while taking pictures and recording events.
Curtis recalls the most challenging portion of the ritual started on the eigth day. "Clad in a loincloth, I entered the kiva with the Chief Priest and followed his orders and directions in every detail." Curtis wrote. "I slept beside him. I fasted through the nine days [remaining], also as prescribed by Hopi priests I had no contact with members of my party and followed the rules of celibacy."

The snake hunt began on the tenth day. "We stripped and smeared our bodies with red paint, which is considered the pollen of snakes. At the same time the chief offered a prayer that the snakes would not harm us." Curtis records that before they set out on the snake hunt each of them is given a stick to dig the snakes out of their holes, an eagle feather whip, a bag and a small parcel of food.
"Then we climbed the ladder out of the kiva and proceeded single file down the trail to the land of the north wind. The Hopi understand that on this day no one may go into the valley northward from the village."
A prayer is said and an offering of cornmeal is scattered in a spring at the foot of a cliff. Then each priest sets out to find snakes. "Fortunately, I was the first to see a snake." Curtis relates. "We surrounded it and threw meal on it." Curtis used the eagle feather whip provided him to cause the snake to straighten out. "Then I quickly seized the snake by the neck."
Before placing the snake in the bag Curtis had to place it around his neck out of respect to the snake. The hunt continued - "diamondbacks, sidewinders, bull snakes, whip snakes, but the majority were rattlers. Our sacks soon became heavy with the weight of snakes." They searched for snakes four days, from the four cardinal directions.
The snakes are placed in the kiva with the priests. Sand from the desert is spread on the floor of the kiva to mark the trail of any snake that escaped the earthen jars in which they were contained. The snakes were treated like special guests. They were sung to, washed, fondled and readied for the ceremonial dance to invoke the gods to provide rain.
Curtis wrote of the preparation for the dance. "We smeared pink clay over our moccasins and other parts of our costume and corn smut mixed with `man medicine' (a concoction of root juices and whatnot) over our forearms, calves and the right side of our head. We whitened our chin and blackened the rest of our face. Around our waist we placed the customary brightly woven fringed belt and in the rear, we hung a fox skin, which moves in rhythm of the dance."
Two fraternities participated in the dance - the Snake and Antelope. After the snakes had been brought into the plaza, the Snake and Antelope stood facing each other. They each held a snake. From time to time they would wrap the snake around their neck or hold it between their lips.
Curtis relates his part in the dance. "I followed the dancers four times around the plaza, and tossed the snakes aside to be picked up the `catcher,' then received another snake for the continuation of the dance."
"Dressed in a G-string and Snake Dance costume and with the regulation snake in my mouth, I went through [the ceremony numerous times] while spectators witnessed the dance and did not know that a white man was one of the wild dancers."
After the ceremony, the chiefs of both clans (and Curtis) would remain in their kivas for four days of purification and prayer for rain. "If it doesn't rain, they believe there has been an error in the performance." Curtis expressed his concern in the event it did not rain. They might believe he was the reason the rain did not come. "Thankfully," he wrote, "billowing dark clouds formed over the mountains ad the welcome rain began to fall."

Credit to "Visions of a Vanishing Race" by Florence Graybill Curtis and Victor Boesen


Strong rains fall on fire-ravaged Amazon state
March 31, 1998
Web posted at: 6:46 p.m. EST (2346 GMT)
BRASILIA, Brazil (CNN) -- The first strong rains in six months fell Tuesday on the remote Amazon state of Roraima, kindling hopes that wildfires that have raged out of control for three months would soon end.
The rains fell on dried forests one day after two Caiapo Indian shamans were flown to the Yanomami reservation to perform a special ritual they believed would bring rain.
"If it's a coincidence or not, I don't know, but it certainly seemed to have done the trick," said Alan Suassuna, press spokesman for the Federal Indian Bureau in Boa Vista, the Roraima state capital located 1,550 miles northwest of Brasilia.
The ritual performed Monday night involved dancing, praying and the gathering of leaves, Suassuna said. Heavy rains started at about 9:30 a.m. and lasted about four hours, he said.
Suassuna estimated the rains quenched 80 percent to 90 percent of the fires but said an accurate evaluation will not be possible until Wednesday, when the army has flown over the area.
Newly available satellite photos show that about 13,200 square miles -- about 15 percent of the state -- have been devastated by the fires, which were set by subsistence farmers.
The flames spread to the reservation of the Yanomami, one of the last remaining Stone Age tribes, and to the reservations of several other tribes. Indian reservations cover about 55 percent of Roraima state.
A U.N. team of disaster experts was trying Tuesday to gauge how far the fires had penetrated the rain forest, which is normally too humid to burn but which has been hit by months of drought.

Shamans of theCaiapo Indian tribe celebrate the 
coming of the rain in the town of Caracarai

The drought -- blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon and strong winds -- has made the fires the worst on record, officials say.
Carlos Pereira Monteiro, chief of the U.N. contingent, called the fires "an environmental disaster without precedent on this planet."
About 1,500 firefighters -- some of them from Argentina and Venezuela -- and several water-carrying helicopters have been aiding the efforts to fight the fires scorching the Amazon jungle.
On Monday, a congressional commission flew over the devastated areas and announced it was investigating who was responsible for the delay in mounting the firefighting effort, which only began in earnest more than two months after Gov. Neudo Campos declared a state of emergency.
"It's sad to know that only after the international community called attention to the problem ... the government took measures," said Federal Deputy Jose Sarney Filho, a member of the congressional commission.
Reuters contributed to this report.
© 1998 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner Company


4. INDIGENOUS WM - AUSTRALASIA (New Zealand & Australia)
TWM and the NSW bushfires - December, 2002 - CLICK HERE


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Last modified: 7 July 2005